Oportunidad Perdida

Jezabel Almanzar and Emily Castaneda

October 15th marked the last day of Hispanic Heritage Month, a month to celebrate the achievements of the Hispanic community in and out of the United States. What does Flowers do to represent this historical event? Here at the “Mecca of Excellence,” we say we want students to feel like they belong, are respected, and celebrated. But, the lack of activities, announcements, and overall action taken this year for Hispanic Heritage Month leaves some students asking “What happen?”.
The whole month went completely under the radar as if it never existed. Why? Well, administers when asked seem to have the same question and were completely oblivious to the situation as if it wasn’t even a problem worth solving. So we decided to ask the students for their opinions on the matter at hand. Here are their thoughts…

“As an African American, how you feel about the lack of representation regarding Hispanics in our school?”
“I feel as though in our school Hispanics/Latinos are not really recognized in our school because the majority of our school is African American.” Jahiem Barret 10th grade.
“But does that really excuse it, why do people not care?”
Since it’s not their race and  it ain’t their month they could care less.”
“How do you feel about the fact we didn’t celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month this year”
“I feel honestly disappointed and disrespected because they say they support “diversity” but the only the majority in this school is being celebrated.” Jocelyn Cruz 10th Grade
“Why aren’t more Hispanic students talking bout the issue?”
“Maybe if the school celebrated it I would care more about it but I guess since it wasn’t a priority for the school I didn’t make it one for me either.” Dennys Benitez 10th Grade
” If the school celebrated it more I feel like students at our school would pay attention to us.” Jonathan 11th Grade  

As we interviewed our peers we noticed students asking about a certain club at Charles Herbert Flowers, that club being the Spanish Honor Society. Many would assume that the  Spanish Honor Society would be planning these special events and activities. However, it’s very apparent that wasn’t the case. In fact, the last thing posted about Hispanic Heritage Month or The Spanish Honor Society on The Main Street Journal was back in 2014. When asked most Hispanic/Latino students were not aware of the existence of the Spanish Honor Society. The few that knew of the club didn’t know who administered the club, what the club did nor it’s meeting times, or even if they were still active. How must we expect a celebration of our people if our very own club is inactive? How can you brand yourself as a Spanish Speaking club and sit around and do nothing when it is time to show off? How can we expect to be taken seriously if the very club that is known for its push for Hispanic Excellence is silent?
It must be said that the previous school last year 2018-2019 the Real CHF morning show was kind enough to have a segment where famous “Hispanics” were recognized for their achievements, had a brief synopsis of their childhood or background, and how they impacted our society today. The only problem was that some of the “Hispanic” people that were presented were not Hispanic nor have they ever identify as such. Seeing Leonardo Da Vinci, an Italian born artist on the Hispanic Heritage Month segment truly concerned many students.  Petty, foolish mistakes like this truly show the lack of respect we have at Charles Herbert Flowers. Are we not worth a simple google search? Not even a glance at a Wikipedia page?
There are many to blame for this, but there is no need to continue the hostility. In order to fix the attitude towards Hispanics/Latinos in Flowers, we must educate. To fight ignorance we must gain knowledge. With that said the first step is approaching the Spanish Honor Society and Dr. Gorman Brown with these issues. We must understand the state of the Spanish Honor Society to further our work.  If it’s necessary, we can make our own club that will most defiantly uphold the standards of the students and properly represent the Hispanic population at Flowers. Only then is when we can truly sit in our accomplishments as a people and gain the respect we deserve.